LOW WASTE

Why and how I stopped using shampoo

I stopped using shampoo

… and nobody noticed. Ok maybe the cover photo is not the best example. But that´s what happens when you get caught in the rain on the way from work and don´t want to style and curl your hair just to show it that it looks OK. This is the truth, no curling, no straightening.

And maybe I don´t look like a typical tree-hugger that would shower in the rain and walk around barefoot and hug animals, but that doesn´t mean I´m not. :)

And this modern hippie is using completely natural and simple rye flour+water mix, instead of traditional shampoo. I simply mix 2-3 teaspoons of rye flour with 1dcl of water and shake it in a jar until the mixture is smooth and all lumps are gone. I like it to be more liquid than a paste. I wet my hair and massage the mix into my hair like a normal shampoo. It spreads super easy and even feels like it´s foaming. I leave it in for 1-2 min and rinse it with cold water.

I don´t use any conditioner but if you like you can use mix of apple vinegar and water (1:10) as a conditioner.

After I wash my hair I  just dry my hair with a hair dryer and comb them with my wooden comb. On the end, I take some of my coconut oil and mix it in my hands with a few drops of water and put it on my ends.

And this is the result

My hair is clean, healthy, shiny and has A LOT more volume than with normal shampoo. But I know, I should definitely get a haircut soon. Which I, by the way, do on my own too.

After first few weeks of using rye flour shampoo

DSC_2641

and today after I got caught in the rain

hair2

Better for your health

Parabens are a group of preservatives used in tens of thousands of personal-care products; they’ve been around since the 1950s, and are considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration. However, parabens may act as weak hormone disruptors when absorbed into the body.

Studies have shown that some parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body’s cells, and while estrogenic activity is associated with certain forms of breast cancer, parabens have been found present in breast tumors. Sulfates in shampoos are concerning because they were found to break down proteins, which can lead to a degenerative effect on the cell membranes. Sulfates were also found to leave residue in the heart, lungs, and brain. Sulfates are also not too good for your hair. They can cause a number of problems for your hair including drying, irritating your scalp, fading your color, and even hair loss.

There’s a wide range of beauty products that are paraben- and sulfate-free — even at the drugstore. You can also find natural shampoo bars. But something as natural as flour or vinegar does the trick for me.

Better for your wallet

Just think about how many shampoos you go through in a month or a year? Let´s say you buy one shampoo per month (depends on the length of your hair is). Normal shampoo costs around 3€. That is 36€/ year. And if you use conditioner, 72€ for both. And we are not talking about bio-shampoo here.

Rye flour costs 1,35€ per 1kg. If I use 30g per wash, I will have it for approx. 30 times, so around 4 months. that would be 4,05 € /year of hair washing. That´s pretty cheap and healthy if you ask me!

Better for the environment

Just think about that 12 plastic bottles of shampoo you use per year, or 24 bottles if you also use conditioner. That´s 240 bottles in 10 years. Yes, they might be recyclable. But recycling should be the last resort. And it breaks my heart when I find shampoo bottles swimming in the sea.

The bottles are not the only problem. The chemicals in the shampoos are washed into the sea. At a high enough concentration, these chemicals can cause endocrine system disruption in fish. As other animals consume fish that are poisoned with these chemicals, they bioaccumulate up the food chain and increase in toxicity. This can damage an entire ecosystem, and if humans eat these fish directly, it doesn’t bode well for them either.

If quitting normal shampoo is not for you, you can give this alternative a chance:

  • natural shampoo sold in bulk
  • natural shampoo bars
  • natural O´right shampoo in a biodegradable bottle

Thank you,

Mateja

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